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BC-TX--Texas News Digest 12 am, TX

May 7, 2019

Good morning! Here’s a look at AP’s general news coverage in Texas at this hour. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the Dallas AP at 972-991-2100, or, in Texas, 800-442-7189. Email: aptexas@ap.org. Ken Miller will be at the desk at 5:30 a.m.

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

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TOP STORIES:

HARVEY-FLOOD-LAWSUITS

HOUSTON _ Testimony was set to begin Monday in a trial in federal court over lawsuits filed by individuals whose houses were flooded by two reservoirs that filled to capacity during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The two-week trial focuses on claims by homeowners who lived upstream of the Addicks and Barker reservoirs and who allege their houses were flooded because the dams ended up collecting water on their private property. The lawsuits allege the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains the two dams, knew the reservoirs’ capacity would exceed federal land and inundate homes. The trial is focusing on 13 properties as test cases. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 670 words.

HARVEY-RECOVERY-TAX BREAKS

HOUSTON _ Lawmakers are considering a bill that could grant Texas homeowners a tax break when their property has been damaged by disasters such as 2017′s Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Chronicle reports that bill sponsor Sen. Paul Bettencourt says it would give homeowners an opportunity to challenge unjust property tax bills after a natural disaster. SENT: 130 words, with photo. SENT: 355 words, with photo.

ELECTION SECURITY-MICROSOFT

Microsoft has announced an ambitious effort it says will make voting secure, verifiable and more transparent with open-source software. The software kit is being developed with Galois, an Oregon-based company separately creating a secure voting system prototype under contract with the Pentagon’s advanced research agency, DARPA. Dubbed “ElectionGuard,” the Microsoft kit will be available beginning this summer. The initiative was announced Monday by CEO Satya Nadella at a developer’s conference in Seattle. Three little-known U.S. companies control about 90 percent of the market for election equipment. They include Hart InterCivic of Austin, Texas. By Frank Bajak. SENT: 870 words, with photos.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

HOUSTON-MISSING GIRL

HOUSTON _ Houston police are trying to determine what happened to a 4-year-old girl whose stepfather said she was taken by men who also abducted him and his 2-year-old son before letting them go. An Amber Alert was issued Sunday morning for Maleah Davis. Her stepfather, Darion Vence, told police late Saturday night that he was unconscious for about 24 hours after the Friday evening incident. SENT: 440 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-BETO O’ROURKE

NEWTON, Iowa _ Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visited an 8th grade civics class Monday and found students ready with tough questions about school shootings and climate change — and not willing to laugh at the usual campaign trail jokes he uses to make adults chuckle. Tyler Stewart teaches civics at Berg Middle School in Newton, about 30 miles from Des Moines, the Iowa capital. His class includes lessons about voter access, and students followed O’Rourke’s near-upset of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas last November while they were studying Texas’ strict voter ID laws. By Will Weissert. SENT 550 words.

GUARDS INVESTIGATED-SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. _ Some Arkansas prison guards and at least one county jail guard have been investigated regarding their social media posts. SENT: 140 words.

SPACE STATION

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. _ A SpaceX shipment arrived at the International Space Station on Monday with a “cosmic catch” by a pair of Canadians. The Dragon capsule delivered 5,500 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of equipment and experiments. By Marcia Dunn. SENT 328 words.

AMTRAK-RURAL AREAS

TOPEKA, Kan. _ U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is putting pressure on Amtrak to commit to continue running the Southwest Chief passenger rail service that connects Chicago to Los Angeles with stops in Kansas. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Moran recently delayed confirming three nominees to Amtrak’s board of directors in an effort to push the national rail carrier to offer assurances that the line will operate for at least another year. Amtrak’s president, Richard Anderson, agreed to meet with Moran and other lawmakers about the rail service’s future this month. Amtrak officials have considered suspending rail service from Dodge City to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and transitioning to buses. SENT: 300 words.

COLLEGE CORRUPTION

NEW YORK _ A jury began deliberating on Monday at the trial of a business manager and another defendant accused of secretly bribing assistant college basketball coaches. The deliberations in federal court in Manhattan followed closing arguments by lawyers for Christian Dawkins and youth basketball coach Merl Code, who deny conspiring to pay off coaches from major programs to get help landing NBA-bound players as clients. The jury had heard the government’s closings last week. SENT: 200 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_TERRORISM-ONLINE MESSAGES _ A North Texas man faces up to 88 years in a U.S. prison after being convicted of sharing online messages promoting terrorism and lying to investigators.

_BAYLOR-LARGEST DONATION _ Baylor University has announced a $100 million donation that administrators say is the largest gift in school history.

_KIDNAPPING-NEW MEXICO _ Prosecutors say a New Mexico man faces up to life in federal prison for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl he picked up last year at a Texas truck stop

SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-GALVESTON-TOURISM

GALVESTON, Texas _ Island tourism managers have their eyes on a new market and a message for its members _ beaches aren’t all Galveston has to offer. The Galveston County Daily News reports in effort to lure a bigger share of visitors who’ll stay longer and spend more than the typical beach-bound day trippers, local tourism stakeholders are shifting their promotional efforts to focus more on the island’s arts and cultural offerings. The shift comes as some officials, including the mayor and the city’s top tourism managers, have begun asking whether the annual flow of tourists onto and off of the island is nearing a saturation point. By Keri Heath, The Galveston County Daily News. SENT: 740 words, pursuing photos.

SPORTS REFER:

BKN--WARRIORS-ROCKETS

HOUSTON _ James Harden and the Houston Rockets look to even their Western Conference semifinals series against the Golden State Warriors after winning Game 3 in overtime. Stephen Curry will try and bounce back after a tough shooting night in Game 3 to give the Warriors a 3-1 lead before the series returns to California for Game 5. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 750 words, with photos. Game starts at 8:30 p.m. CDT.

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